“I’m impressed by the perfect organisation, the well-founded lectures and the informative exhibition here in the foyer. Everything really has an international dimension,” was the opinion of one Azerbaijani construction developer during the ICCX Academy, which took place on 20th June at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku. The event was staged by Norm Cement, the local host and prominent Azerbaijani cement manufacturer, and the organiser, CPi Worldwide, the leading media specialists for the global concrete industry.
ICCX Academy is a new format and a spin-off of ICCX (International Concrete Conference & Exhibition), a much appreciated international conference and tradeshow with global reach focussed exclusively on the production of precast concrete components. The ICCX Academy one day event is also an ideal platform for new precast markets. It features concentrated, specialised information and the possibility of direct, intensive exchanges of experience and opinions. Much positive feed-back from participants, even during the event in Baku, indicates that the new format has been well-received in exactly the same way as its “bigger sisters”, the ICCX events in Sharjah (UAE), St. Petersburg (Russia), Warsaw (Poland), Verona (Italy) or Bonn (Germany).
In the magnificent setting of the centrally located, historic Four Seasons Hotel, a high-class conference programme with a total of eight specialised lectures from all areas of precasting awaited the 130 participants. Partners: HA-BE, Rekers, Arcen, Hawkeye Pedershaab, Kraft Curing Systems, Progress Group and Norm Cement had set up their information stands for the accompanying tradeshow in the foyer of the lecture room.
Azerbaijan has passed through a time of remarkable economic development in the past few years. This country, situated between the southern foothills of the Caucasian Mountains and the Caspian Sea, has Russia and Georgia as neighbours in the north, Armenia in the west and Iran in the south. It owes this rapid advancement especially to the production of petroleum and natural gas. Economic analysts reckon with gross domestic product growth in the region of 2 to 4% (includes petroleum and non-petroleum sectors) for 2019.
Analysts expect Azerbaijan to soon enter into its next stage development. The government has for some years now been sponsoring the targeted set-up and expansion of other industrial segments as well as the transport infrastructure (see Azerbaijan – “Economy” – in text box).
Knowledgeable Specialised Lectures
It is indeed an opportune time for manufacturers of cement, concrete and precast concrete components to draw attention to themselves and the advantages of constructing with precast, for example, in the areas of commercial civil engineering and infrastructure. The ICCX Academy in Baku presented them the perfect stage; even Azerbaijani television carried a report.
After welcoming speeches from Henning Sasse, CEO Norm Cement, Fuad Mammadov, Technical Sales Team Leader Norm Cement, and Dr Holger Karutz, Managing Partner ad media GmbH and Editor-in-Chief CPI Worldwide, the ICCX Academy in Baku commenced its lecture programme. Speakers from five different countries gave an overview of manufacturing engineering, state-of-the-art system and control technologies as well as concrete admixtures and additives.
Prof. Viktor Mechtcherine from Technische Universität Dresden delineated future prospects for the international precast concrete component sector. Beginning with rheological basics, he carried on through the pumpability of concrete to concrete pressure as an emerging application.
Dr David Fernandez, General Secretary of The International Federation for Structural Concrete (fib), ventured a look into the possible future of Azerbaijan’s construction industry. In his talk “Modern construction trends for Azerbaijan”, he highlighted, amongst other things, especially successful examples of precast concrete component buildings, façades and bridges from all over the world.
Hope for Continuation
Many participants expressed their appreciation to personnel from the event organiser, CPI Worldwide, during the conference that an ICCX event should take place in Baku. Besides the first-rate level of the lectures, they also spoke highly of the tradeshow’s organisation and the entire event.
“I know ICCX events very well as I have been visiting ICCX Russia in St. Petersburg for ten years now. It is a professional highlight for me each year. To be able to take part in such an event now here in my own country is simply fantastic. I hope that this is only the beginning,” said one visitor to CPI Worldwide.